Today’s Courier-Journal reported on a legislative hearing in Frankfort concerning the struggling implementation of our new Medicaid Managed Care companies in Kentucky. The focus was on slow payments to providers and difficulties arising from having to interact with the systems of three different providers, although there were apparently also problems in obtaining timely authorizations for treatment or prescriptions. None of this should have been completely unexpected given the relative speed at which rather drastic changes were made to the Medicaid program of Kentucky. Most of the state just went from unbridled fee-for-service care to the more closely supervised system we call managed care. I am certainly not surprised! What is more important is how this vital healthcare system reacts and repairs itself. Time will tell.
What did surprise and more-than-disappoint me was the report of the behavior of an unnamed psychiatrist in Kentucky who is said to have refused to continue to treat two of his current patients who are children because “he has not been paid since Nov 1.” Why is this not abandonment and a cause for disciplinary action by the Medical Licensure Board, or if there are any damages, in a civil court? My friends in the Medical Licensure Board, what does it take for you to investigate this accusation? You may consider this a complaint. The safety of two children is in jeopardy, or the good image of physicians has been sacrificed to make a better story for our legislators. Either alternative begs for clarification and resolution. Reports like this, when true, make me ashamed on behalf of my profession. Continue reading “Exaggeration, Unethical, or Just Plain Despicable?”